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4. Summary of the general discussions

The drafting groups presented overviews of the risk assessment documents on Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens and Vibrio spp. in seafood to the expert consultation. A summary of the draft risk assessments and the discussions of the expert consultation are given in sections five and six of this report. However, a number of issues relevant to risk assessment in general that were addressed are summarized below.

It was anticipated that the campylobacter and vibrio risk assessments will prove useful for decision makers such as Codex committees, food industries, food control authorities, regulators and other stake holders. It was not the task of the risk assessment groups to undertake risk profiling or determine acceptable risk levels - this is the role of risk managers. However, the outputs of this work should provide tools and information useful to both risk managers and risk assessors.

It was not possible at this stage to complete full quantitative risk assessments for all pathogens, inclusive of full validation exercises. This was due to the lack of extensive quantitative data being available, the uncertainties that exist and the need to make assumptions e.g. that all strains of Campylobacter spp. are pathogenic. However, it was noted that even preliminary quantitative and good qualitative risk assessments would be very useful in decision making. The risk assessment of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in bloody clams provides an example of how readily accessible data can be collated into the risk assessment framework to give valuable information that could be used towards improving public health.

The models on Campylobacter spp. and Vibrio spp provided examples of how risk assessment can be applied to pathogen-commodity combinations. However, it is important that countries do not just transfer any conclusions from this risk assessment work to make risk management decisions without giving due consideration to the effect of different species, environments and populations in their own country.

The challenge will be to show the world, including developing countries, the advantages of undertaking risk assessment. Training, complete with easy to understand guidelines on how to apply the risk assessments was considered extremely important. The training and guidelines material should be written in simple language that is applicable to different audiences and countries with different levels of development.

There is concern by many countries that not having a full risk assessment will create trade barriers. Assistance may need to be given to many developing countries to generate and collect data and undertake modelling exercises so that such concerns can be addressed.

The consultation formed two working groups to address the risk assessment documentation on Campylobacter spp. and Vibrio spp. respectively. The composition of the two working groups is outlined in the table below.

Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens

Independent experts

Expert members of the drafting group

Members of the secretariat

John Cowden

Bjarke Christensen

Sarah Cahill

Heriberto Fernández

Aamir Fazil

Karen Hulebak

Geoffrey C. Mead

Emma Hartnett

Jeronimas Maskeliunas

Diane G. Newell

Anna Lammerding

Hajime Toyofuku

Servé Notermans

Maarten Nauta

Sasitorn Kanarat

Greg Paoli

Paul Brett Vanderlinde

Vibrio spp. in seafood

Independent experts

Expert members of the drafting group

Members of the secretariat

Nourredine Bouchriti

Anders Dalsgaard

Lahsen Ababouch

Jean-Michel Fournier

Angelo DePaola

Peter Karim BenEmbarek

Ron Lee

I. Karunasager

Maria de Lourdes Costarrica

Carlos A. Lima dos Santos

Thomas McMeekin

Dorothy Jean McCoubrey

Ken Osaka

Marianne Miliotis

John Sumner

Mitsuaki Nishibuchi

Mark Walderhaug

Pensri Rodma

Mark Tamplin

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